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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: February 8, 2007

Senator Cliff Branan
Senator Cliff Branan

Senate Committee Okays Bill to Ban Smoking at Zoos

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee has given its approval to a bill that would ban smoking at zoos in Oklahoma. Sen. Cliff Branan is the author of Senate Bill 473, which was approved on Thursday.

“Right now there’s a loophole in the state’s law banning smoking in public places, because those places are defined as indoors only,” explained Branan, R-Oklahoma City. “This legislation will close that loophole and better protect the health and safety of the public—particularly children who visit zoos.”

The language in SB 473 closes that loophole by extending the state public smoking ban to all public parts of a zoo, whether they are indoors or outdoors. Branan said the bill would not impact other venues.
Branan said the Oklahoma City Zoo alone has up to 700,000 visitors each year, and 40 percent of those are children.

“It really is just good sense. We certainly wouldn’t allow anyone to smoke in a classroom around children, and in a way, zoo’s are like an outdoor classroom. Every year, schools and daycare centers, scout troops and other organizations bring thousands of children to zoos located in our state,” Branan said. “This just helps ensure that it’s a safer environment for all children and adults, and probably for the animals as well.”

The measure next moves to the full Senate for approval.

For more information contact:
Senator Branan's Office - (405) 521-5543

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